Cancel my subscription, I’m over my issues. March 5, 2008Posted by Sparkel in I really don't know life at all, realizations.
I had a long talk with my sister the other night about our parents, our childhood, and the resulting problems we both have.
I remember being a happy kid. I remember my parents as loving, and not really wanting for anything as far as toys or fun experiences. I remember having fun, having friends, making up stories, liking myself.
My sister for some reason does not really remember any of this. The conversations we have usually end in an argument because she gets mad at me for forgiving the bad and I get mad at her for forgetting the good.
I can remember when the fighting started. Well, maybe not when it started, but I can remember when it became noticeable. I was twelve. My parents always drank but in those years they used it as an escape. They would fight and scream at each other every night. My mom was the worst. She became unrecognizable, saying horrible things to my dad and to us.
I remember my dad taking my sister and I to visit my grandmother, and he was carefully choosing his words to explain exactly what was happening between him and my mom. I asked “do you still love mom?” thinking that the answer was obvious, the question was unnecessary, the sudden need for reassurance was useless.
He hesitated. I felt my breath catch in my throat. He looked me right in the eye and slowly shook his head, “no.”
I looked at my sister, whose eyes were brimming with tears. I quickly turned to stare out the window, blinking my own back.
That was not the answer I was expecting. That answer contradicted everything I thought I knew about my parents relationship; changed everything I thought I wanted for my own.
My dad said “I’m sorry” with a shrug in his voice.
The fighting got worse. Everyone changed and seemed to lose a part of themselves.
I always thought that I became strong. I became determined to be the glue, the confidante, the savior. My logic and knack for knowing what to say to make people listen and want to change would prevail. My heart and tenacity would save my family.
And keep our house a home.
My dad has always either laughed or scolded me (when it worked against him) when he says that I always root for the underdog. If I see someone being picked on or in pain I never hesitate to rush over and try to fix things and help with everything I have. “When your brother or sister would get spankings you cried ten times harder than they did!”
I try to see the good in people. I try to remind people of the good they have in them. I try to see situations in the best light possible. I try to see my blame in things. I think I do a pretty good job of staying level-headed and being positive for the most part.
My sister said that she feels sorry for my mom because of the guilt she must feel for the fact that she let her uncle stay at our house with my aunt because my mom never had the heart to tell her that he molested her and her sister when they were kids. And that as a result, he molested me.
I’ve never felt any real effects of it in my day to day life or in relationships. I’ve never had any qualms about talking about it. I was three years old; what could I possibly have done to deserve it, or to feel any shame? I honestly don’t give it very much thought at all.
Which is why I surprised my sister and myself by having some kind of breakdown when she said she felt sorry for my mom. I angrily said “I don’t feel sorry for her at all. She put the feelings of her aunt before the possibility that the same thing could happen to her own daughter.” And then I just cried like a baby. Cried to the point where I couldn’t breathe. I just sort of melted into the floor and stayed there for a long time, sobbing and hiccupping and trying to vocalize what exactly was wrong.
My sister kept pleading “tell me what’s wrong.” All I could get out was “I just want to stop being second. I just want to be first to someone.”
My mind was racing and I kept remembering things.
I thought about always feeling left out as the middle child. Always getting second or third of everything because I didn’t require as much attention as my siblings. I thought about feeling happy for them for everything they’ve ever had and such despair over every bad thing that they’ve ever gone through. I remember wanting to take their pain and make it mine.
I thought about being best friends with twins in kindergarten, and always being reminded that I was their “second best friend.” I remember how much it hurt, even if I never admitted it out loud.
I remember having my first best friend, where it was reciprocated, and I remember the day when she told me that I couldn’t be her best friend anymore because she was closer to another girl. I remember making a fool of myself that day in school by crying in front of the whole class and insisting it was because I had a headache. I remember my now-former best friend and her new best friend looking at me like I was a freak. I remember just wanting to disappear forever.
I remember moving to Maryland when I was 12, and starting 7th grade as a new kid. The middle school was 6th-7th grade, and everyone knew each other for years and already had groups and friendships formed. I remember making friends, but everyone already had a best friend. I remember feeling left out until I graduated high school.
I remember when my best friend had a baby and was trying to choose the godmother. And I remember listening as she said it was between two friends she had long before we met. I remember her not even mentioning me for consideration until I suggested she make both her friends godmothers and then she called the next day to ask me if I wanted to be one too. I remember feeling hurt and insulted and wanting to say no, that if I wasn’t good enough to be considered for the only pick, I wasn’t going to be anyone’s second runner up. I remember feeling a terrible pang, almost like a punch in the stomach, when a little voice inside my head pointed out that that’s all I’ve ever been.
I remember when my mom told me she wanted to pay off my car because she was proud of me for working so hard. I remember feeling happy that even though I insisted that she didn’t she still wanted to. And I remember when she told me that she realized that after paying for my sisters car she just couldn’t afford both. That she hoped I understood. And then I remember my dad telling me a week later that she paid off my brothers car the previous day. I remember feeling like I was slapped.
I remember when my sister replaced me with her first boyfriend. I remember when she stayed at his house every night. I remember when she called him her “best friend”, “the person she loves most,” “the most important person in her life.” I remember feeling replaced and like it was never real, only seemed real when I was all she really knew as a child.
I remember when the problems with M’s family began. I remember waiting for him to defend me. I remember asking him to defend me. I remember him saying no, then “you know what your problem is? You just don’t get over things fast enough.” I remember when I realized that I would always come after his mom and sister. I remember feeling hurt and disconsolate every time I saw them. I remember when I welcomed the next phase, pure numbness, which always seemed like the saddest way to be, but felt so good because it didn’t hurt anymore.
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel alone. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t wistfully hope to be someone’s best, number one, first priority. My sister insisted that I’m her number one and I bitterly laughed and said “don’t lie to me. I’m so tired of everyone lying to me. I’m so tired of everyone. I’m so tired…” and then apparently passed out from the exhaustion that comes with crying your heart out for hours. The next thing I saw was M, bent over with his head on the floor next to mine. I’m assuming my sister said something to him, because he just said “you’re my number one.”
I sighed and silently focused on him for a minute. If I had any tears left I’m sure they would have come as I said “I just don’t get it. I just want to feel loved. I’m tired of trying to save everyone. Why doesn’t anyone save me?”
M does not cry. He is stoic, calm, and usually not emotional at all. Which is why I was touched when his eyes filled with tears. He cupped my cheeks with his hands and kissed my forehead. I started to get up before he could say anything and said “lets go to bed.”
I’m not sure how I feel. I don’t blame anyone. I don’t feel anger toward anyone. I don’t even really blame my mom for what she did.
I just…wish…and hope…and hurt. So much.
I really hope I can save myself. Cause I don’t want to be issue-ridden and dramatic. I just don’t want to feel so alone.
I built a home for you, for me… Until it disappeared from you, from me. November 24, 2007Posted by Sparkel in I really don't know life at all, M, meee, realizations.
I woke up to tears streaming down my face and a soaking wet pillow a couple nights ago. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and had to stifle a scream. It’s no secret that I am very picky and very angry about the house and the people in it. Just the other post was all about my unhappiness and complaints. What I didn’t write is that I’m driving M insane. He loves me, very very much. I do not realize this nearly as much as I should. But my constant negativity and reminders that the house wasn’t my idea and that I did him an enormous favor by moving in is weighing on him and us. Truth be told, I haven’t given much thought to his perspective. I am, after all, the victim in all of this, as we all tend to be victims in situations we find ourselves in. It’s so difficult to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To really emphasize and see that they are a person with thoughts and needs and feelings just like you. We know it, but we don’t really realize it like we should. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking of myself as compassionate. Thinking of myself as a good girlfriend…hell, a great girlfriend. I know I love him. I know I show it in many ways. But I realized just the other night that I need to back off and learn to accept what I cannot change.
I dreamt that I grew more and more unhappy with the house and my life in general. I constantly pointed out the things I bought and contributed and demanded recognition and gratitude. If I didn’t get it, or was met with eyerolls, I would flip out. I ostracized everyone. Finally, M had it too. I came home to find his and his family’s bags packed. They said that they would continue paying their share of the bills until I got on my feet, but that they just couldn’t live with me and my negativity anymore. Karla, her boyfriend, and their mom left, and M was getting his things together. I grabbed his hand, pleading with him to understand my side, all “don’t go!” and “I love you!” and “I’ll be better, I promise!!” to no avail. He told me that he loved the girl he met, but that I’m not that girl anymore, that she was replaced by an angry shell. He said “you’re just like your mom now,” and told me that because I was so obsessed with the things I bought for the house he was leaving all of it, including everything I ever got for him. I said “don’t you want to remember me at all?” and he sighed and shook his head and said he was sorry and that he had to go. He shut the door, and I slumped to the floor and just sobbed and cried. The dream then jumped ahead to a significant amount of time later. I got home from work to a completely quiet house, made myself a dinner for one, sat down at the table by myself and looked around and knew I was completely alone.
Then I woke up.
Many things contributed to this dream. The strain on my relationship with M, my anger about the house alienating everyone, not wanting to be negative and push everyone away like my mom, and most of all this beautiful song that makes me cry everytime I hear it:
There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills…
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust..
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home…….
Cause, I built a home
Until it disappeared
And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust……..
Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed it’s knees
By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me……
Cause, I built a home
Until it disappeared
And now, it’s time to leave and turn to dust…
It’s time to make changes. For real this time. To my attitude, my body, thoughts, outlook, priorities, etc. The only thing that doesn’t need changing is M, who loves me for me and hopefully will not get to the breaking point if I stop making it so damn easy.
Sigh November 13, 2007Posted by Sparkel in I really don't know life at all, meee.
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For the record, I have always thought that depression is kinda bullshit.
I took psychology my freshman year, and heard lectures about chemical imbalances, and how depression is a detectable, diagnosable, real thing that should not be taken lightly. I still internally scoffed and rolled my eyes, thinking “if people in Darfur can live without chemical imbalances, I think the middle and upper-middle class in this country will be alright.”
Now…not so sure.
I’m not sure quite what happened. I was happy. Like, disgustingly, people needed to tell me to calm down, happy. I fell in love, cut people who just weren’t doing it for me anymore, moved away from my crazy family, had money in the bank and started college. I felt unstoppable and unflappable. Then, my smile started to fade, and starting up a new one took more effort that it probably should. I started thinking negatively, scowling more often and wanting more time alone. I think it started with the falling out with M’s mom and sister. I went from being adored to whispered about while dirty looks were shot my way. M and I stuck it through, but it (obviously) put a strain on our relationship. I felt betrayed, lonely and angry. I cannot put into words how horrible it was, how much it hurt, and how much I’m still not over it. Of course, continuing to live with them doesn’t help.
The other night Karla (M’s sister) was in a pretty bad car accident with her boyfriend. He hurt his neck and back pretty badly, and was rushed to the hospital. M and I went to meet them, and she was crying uncontrollably, so I gave her a big hug and tried to console her. When M and I were leaving she gave me another big hug and tearfully told me that she’s sorry for ever doing anything to offend me, and promised that things are going to be different. It was nice to (finally) hear. But part of me feels like it’s just too little too late. Mostly I was just a little bit alarmed at how unphased I was by the whole accident and tearful apology in general. I feel like if a machine were monitoring my brain waves, the line would remain steady.
This is sort of where the “I think I’m depressed” theories begin. For a while now I’ve felt just…out of it. Not into work. Not into school. Whenever a friend asks me to do something, anything, my initial reaction is “I don’t feel like it.” Roadtrips to Key West, Boston and New York City this past year? Didn’t feel like it. Spending all night dancing in bars I thought I loved? Eh, maybe next time. Even small things, like coffee dates or dinner just seem so draining. I can’t explain it. I’ve even been avoiding M. I spend a lot of time holed up in either our room or the office watching TV, DVD’s or napping. I know things are due for school, and while I get most things in on time, I do not put in 100%. I cannot bring myself to stay at work past 3pm, which is completely illogical because all I do when I leave is drive straight home and watch TV and fall asleep until I pick up M. I see other people making the most out of their lives. Trying hard in school, going to graduate school, making six figures. I watch the super-successful on TV and just live vicariously through them. I feel like I live vicariously through everyone, and what worries me the most is how much I don’t care. How many times a day I shrug, sigh and just wish I were under the covers with the shades pulled down.
Psychoanalyzing myself, I know what I’m doing. I’m living through other people and things. Life is good when I dream; hence sleep. Life is ignorable when I’m watching TV. What I can’t figure out is how to snap out of it. How to go back to feeling passionate and motivated. I know the best thing I can do right now (other than get a prescription for Prozac) is just do the things I know I should do, and hope my mentality will take care of itself. But I cannot bring myself to start. I can feel things slipping away. It’s most noticeable when I’m talking to people who knew me when I was who I was. Jess or M or my sister will try to have conversations, and I care and want to get into it and just…feel again, but I cannot bring myself to do it. I feel numb and at the same time like I’m underwater just struggling and kicking but I never manage to go up any. I feel like I’m suffocating. And I hate it and I’m ashamed of it because of how nice my life is and how easy I have it. When I want to complain, I’ve got nothin really. That’s probably the most frustrating part. I know something’s wrong but I don’t know what it is, so I don’t know how to fix it. I can’t tell if I need a kick in the ass or just someone who will sit there while I uncontrollably sob for a few hours. Maybe both. I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.
It’s never enough time August 15, 2007Posted by Sparkel in I really don't know life at all, realizations.
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There are times when I forget that my grandmother is dead. I think about something she said, or a funny story, and then, as I always have, think “I hope I get to see her this weekend” (or something to that effect), and then I remember and it hits like a sledgehammer. I’ve tried to keep myself preoccupied with shows and reading and friends and work, but there’s no escaping it. Which is both good and bad. I read a book once about this kid whose best friend dies when they’re 12. He says that he wants to let himself feel all the grief and anger and sadness so that it doesn’t hurt to think about his friend for too long. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how he words it, because it so. perfectly. captures how you feel when you lose someone you love: “there’s a lump in my throat and a story at the tip of my tongue whenever I think of [her].”
I really, really miss my grandmother. And I hate that I’ll never see her again. I hate that there are only memories and the past. Sometimes I hate it so much it just…aches.
I haven’t written here yet about my sisters boyfriend. He was in a car accident when he was sixteen and he died four days later. I thought about death and why a lot differently before that happened. I’ve come to realize that there’s no answer for any of it. Why we’re here, why we leave, why some people (sometimes the best people) leave too soon. Any belief I had in a higher power went out the window when he died. Any hope that any of it is more than cruel left too. My grandmothers death is different. Her life ending doesn’t seem as tragic because she lived such a long, good life. When I think of her passing, I feel sad and nostaligic. When I think of Paul’s death, I feel angry at the world.
From what I’ve experienced of death, which is luckily not much compared to many, many others in the world, I realize only that we need to appreciate what we have while we have it, and never go to bed angry, never take anyone for granted, and realize that today might be it. Not only for you, but for anyone you love and like. My sister never got to say goodbye, and it haunts her to this day. I said goodbye to my grandmother, but I still wish I said more. My cousin’s son, who is 8, summed it up: “It’s not fair! I’ve only had my whole life with her, and that’s only eight years. That’s not enough time.” To which my cousin replied “I’ve only had 33 years with her, and that’s not enough time.” Then he said “It’s never enough time.”
There’s never enough time to live, and there’s never enough time to love. So why do we waste so much of it on hate, negativity, drama and nothing?